Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 81–90 | Cite as

Umoja: A Culturally Specific Approach to Mentoring Young African American Males

  • Jerry WatsonEmail author
  • Gregory Washington
  • Desiree Stepteau-Watson


This article reports that urban inner-city African American male youth residing in communities of color are at-risk and warrant interventions custom tailored to meet their unique cultural needs. This article describes a promising community and school-based intervention and prevention program utilizing Washington’s (J Soc Work Gr 2006:14, 2007) pyramid mentoring model designed to foster the positive development of this group, prevent violence, and to reduce contacts with the juvenile and criminal justice system. It discusses and presents African drumming, Spir-rhythms as a Afrocentric cultural arts tool to engage, establish rapport, and provide pyramid group mentoring experiences for African American male youth.


African American male youth Culturally appropriate Mentoring Violence prevention 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerry Watson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gregory Washington
    • 3
  • Desiree Stepteau-Watson
    • 2
  1. 1.Jackson State UniversityJacksonUSA
  2. 2.University of MississippiSouthavenUSA
  3. 3.University of MemphisMemphisUSA

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